Follow TV Tropes


Real Vehicle Reveal

Go To

Someone poses with or appears to be riding in a good-looking vehicle. A shift of view, and it's revealed they drive something MUCH less glamourous — The Alleged Car and bicycles are common. A variation (excellently demonstrated by the image on the right) is for that person to be indeed riding said good-looking vehicle, but not actually in it.

See Not This One, That One if it's the character being fooled as well as, or instead of, the audience about which vehicle they're going to take.


    open/close all folders 
  • Inverted in two the "Unpimp Ze Auto" series of ads for the Volkswagen Golf GTI. One ad has a Rice Burner get a crate dropped on it, which opens to reveal the new car. The other has another Rice Burner smashed away by a wrecking ball; behind it is the VW. It was an obvious send-up of the show Pimp My Ride.
  • At the end of an ad for non-alcoholic Heineken 0.0, race car driver Daniel Ricciardo leaves a bar, heading toward a cool-looking car. The car pulls away, revealing a motor-scooter. Ricciardo is then shown riding the scooter.

    Anime and Manga 
  • A bonus chapter of One-Punch Man shows the Fubuki group heading for an impressive big black luxury car, only for them to drive off in the tiny little rental hidden behind it.

    Comic Books 
  • This happens lots of times in the Spanish comic Mortadelo y Filemón: for example, in the albums "Valor y al toro", "Contra el Gang del Chicharrón", "Los verdes", "La maldición gitana", to name just a few.
  • Occurs in a comic book short for The Muppets. The crew stare at a huge ocean liner in awe, only for Kermit to reveal that the actual boat is on the other side of the dock, looking for all the world like an Alleged Boat.

    Film - Live Action 
  • In one Harold Lloyd film, 1932's Movie Crazy, Harold is seen relaxing in the back of a rather luxurious car. Then he shifts position, the car pulls away, and it's revealed he's riding a bicycle.
  • In one short of The Three Stooges, the stooges walk into a parking garage and we see a fancy 1930's car roll out. A few seconds later, the stooges emerge with Moe driving a motorized scooter with wagons attached to the back for Larry and Curly.
  • Happens at the beginning of Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005) remake. Ann gets out of her taxi and stares at an ocean liner, only for Denhan to direct her attention to the Venture, a smaller and much less impressive boat on the other side of the dock.
  • Jack Sparrow's first appearance in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl has him appearing to stand heroically on the mast of a grand ship. And then we see that his 'ship' is in fact a glorified dinghy - one that's sinking, to boot!
  • Parodied in a deleted scene in Tomorrow Never Dies. When Q meets with Bond in Germany, he's presenting Bond the car he'll be using on his mission, but accidentally opens a crate with a live jaguar inside, with Bond asking "Jaguar?" and Q answering "Wrong assignment." before properly presenting the car, which is a BMW.
  • At the beginning of Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke, Man appears to be driving a Rolls-Royce, only for the camera to pan out and reveal a dilapidated Volkswagen Beetle - with a Rolls-Royce grille attached to the front.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Goodies: One of the early episodes has them leave their office and move behind a Rolls Royce, looking as if they are about to get in it. They then emerge from behind the Rolls riding their "trandem" bike.
  • The Benny Hill Show: In a filmed sketch about the National Health Service, Benny is a private patient while another lower-class looking person is going through the public way. At the end of the sketch Benny is seen perched in a late model convertible; the lower class guy is then seen getting in the car and driving away, revealing that Benny is sitting on a bicycle.
    • At the end of another sketch, which has Benny playing a famous rock star, it seems he's in a car with happy people with champagne and beautiful women, and it pulls away, and a lonely Benny rides home on his bicycle.
  • Better Call Saul: After Jimmy's case in "Uno", he is seen walking in the courthouse parking lot towards a white Cadillac Sedan de Ville similar to his car from Breaking Bad. The camera then pans to him getting into his actual car: a beat-up Suzuki Esteem.
  • Top Gear did this during the original Amphibious Vehicle challenge. James May was having boatloads of trouble with his convertible sailboat car constantly breaking down. However after a while he appeared to have fixed it, commenting that "the ride has improved, the wind's in my hair and the top speed is brilliant!". Cut to a wider view showing him in the car as it rides on the back of an AA lorry.
    • Another example occurred during the Albanian road trip. The three hosts were to test high-end luxury sedans allegedly for the Albanian Mafia, except Bentley pulled out in providing their Mulsanne saloon car at the last minute, leaving Jeremy without a car. Luckily he said he had made some "alternative arrangements"; meaning he found a dirt-cheap second-hand Yugo as a replacement. In one of the series' classic moments, Jeremy and the others proceed to review the clanky Yugo as if it were still the Bentley he was supposed to drive (contrasting the Bentley's on-paper luxury and performance stats against the Yugo's... lack thereof).
    • When the boys were challenged to build an electric car from scratch, Jeremy was tasked on designing the body while James was building the electric motor and Richard was providing a chassis. Later in the episode James and Richard are seen admiring a streamlined sports car thinking it was Jeremy's design, only for Jeremy to direct them to the actual car which looked like a garden shed made out of sheet metal and plywood.

    Music Videos 
  • In "That's the Way the Money Goes" by M, Robin Scott himself appears to be in a luxury car as a meter maid comes to ticket it. The "car" slips away, revealing the M frontman to be sitting instead on two gold bars.
  • In the official video for the Ievan Polkka, three guys are shown standing by a sporty-looking car. They then pull away in some cheap beater.
  • In the video for Acid Drinkers' cover of Love Shack, a Hells Angels-type is shown cruising on some sort of motorbike, later revealed to be a blue Vespa. Also Titus, the singer, is shown on some sort of monster bike with an incredibly long fork, which turns out to be a bicycle.
  • In the video for the Robbie Williams song Millenium, Robbie is seen heading for an Aston Martin DB5 (with which he was earlier posing), then pulls out from behind it in Bond Bug (that later breaks down).

    Video Games 
  • Mercenaries 2 does this in one of the missions - you're told to grab a vehicle called "Devastator" while looking at a cool tank, after which it is revealed you're supposed to pick a small pink moped standing behind the wall.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Donald Duck cartoon The Autograph Hound, Donald appears to be in a limo with Greta Garbo. He is actually sitting on the fender on the other side.
  • In the opening credits of Top Cat, Top Cat appears to be riding in the back of a limousine. However, as the car turns a corner, it is revealed he is actually riding on the fender.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: When Rook is showing his vehicle to Ben we first see a badass-looking green and black monster truck, only to learn it's a different car and Rook's actual ride actually is the old, silly-looking truck behind it. Then subverted when Rook reveals it's only in camouflage mode and can turn into a powerful, heavily armed, spaceship-like vehicle.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: An off-screen version occurs after Bloo signs a contract with Hollywood agent Kip Snip and they leave Foster's, we hear this exchange:
    Bloo: Wow! A limo!
    Kip Snip: Yeah, I parked right next to it.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Grim is first shown revving up a monster truck but as it drives away, he, Billy, Mandy and Irwin are piled on Irwin's bike.
  • At the beginning of 1936's Looney Tunes short "Porky's Road Race," Porky is working on what at first glance is a multi-cylinder hot rod. The vehicle is pulled out of shot to show Porky is actually working on his own vehicle, a two-cylinder racer.
  • In the 1947 Republic Picture short "It's a Grand Old Nag", a movie director in a luxurious sedan offers Charlie Horse a role in his next picture; when the two of them leave, the car turns revealing it to be a cutout from the prop department that really moves from two sets of bike pedals (Charlie is doing all the pedaling while the director reclines his feet).




How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / RealVehicleReveal

Media sources: